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“Excellent staff”
Review of The Russell Hotel

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The Russell Hotel
Ranked #38 of 178 Hotels in Sydney
Certificate of Excellence
Stafford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Excellent staff”
Reviewed December 26, 2012

Stayed for one night (6 November 2012). The hotel is in a great location and has old world charm. We arrived off an international flight very early in the morning and were able to easily walk to the hotel from Circular quay, the hotel staff were very helpful and arranged to store our bags for us and allowed us to use a shower room to freshen up and change after our long flight. The staff also gave us great advise about what to visit and where to eat and allowed us to check into our room very early. We booked the least expensive room with private facilities, the room was at the back of the hotel so although it did not have a view it was very quiet, clean and adequate. If you need air con you would have to upgrade and that starts to get expensive. Breakfast is served in the cocktail bar and was very nice. Some bits of the hotel are a little tired and need a little tlc and I would recommend the rooms with private facilities ( not the smaller rooms with shared facilities) but would use this hotel again when in Sydney for the friendliness, ambience, location and price.

Room Tip: Rooms at the back are quieter.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank twowheelheaven
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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902 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
42 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed December 26, 2012

This is a lovely hotel in a fantastic location. Our room was pretty and clean. The view from the lounge and terrace was brilliant. You could get wine from the bar delivered up to the terrace! Breakfast was simple, consisting of toast and orange juice but there was plenty of other places around to have breakfast.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank Lucy F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Queensland
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed December 25, 2012

Stayed here early December, the night before we took a cruise out of circular quay. This is a charming old place, with heaps of character. We arrived early evening and found it very welcoming - our room was ready with a lamp on and door left open and the reception lady was so friendly and helpful - very welcoming.

Yes there was noise from the street until late, but we expected as much being a weekend and busy in the Rocks with the leadup to Christmas, although we still slept well and it did not keep us awake.

The shared bathrooms were very clean and we were welcome to use any others if they were busy - which they never were anyway. The shared lounge room on an upper floor was much like a home away from home with magazines, books and nice reader lamps if you just wanted to relax for a while before/after dinner.

The location was fantastic, literally 2 mins away from Circular Quay and just on the outskirts of a very lively hub in the Rocks, with a great vibe - night markets, lots of eateries etc.

Breakfast was very good too, nice selection and in an intimate setting which was nice to talk with other travellers.

All in all, this is a very charming place full of character, it has old 'bits' and dated areas, but is kept exceptionally clean and most welcoming. Staff are so friendly and go the extra mile (the reception lady rang our room to pass on information learned from other travellers about baggage drop off for our cruise ship). I would not hesitate in staying here again, and much prefer character and charm over bland.

Room Tip: If you are a light sleeper, choose an inside room.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Deb514
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
adams center new york
Level Contributor
34 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed December 23, 2012

Shame on me for not reading the reviews on this one. We stayed at the Russell in early December and were disappointed in the condition of our room.

The cons: It looked shabby and drab with dirty carpeting and peeling wallpaper. There was no air conditioning in our room, only a ceiling fan. The windows were covered with a heavy sheet of glass held on with magnetic strips to keep out traffic noise. But in order to get any air flow we had to lift them out and set them on the floor below the windows. The blinds did not all work properly and were very dusty and dirty. The coffee service was stored in the bottom of the old wardrobe - not appealing at all. We were only given two towels for a 3 night stay, no hand towels or washclothes. There were two terry robes provied in the wardrobe but both were way too small for my husband to use. As for the shared bathroom - where do I start? See attached photos of dirty grout and tiles. I refused to use it and went down the hall to a lovely new bathroom that I assume went with other rooms. The mattress needed to be replaced as there was very little support left in it. The computer in the lobby was out of order while we stayed so we had to buy internet time. The breakfast was basic. No frig in our room or anywhere to get ice for a cold drink.

The pros: Fantastic location. It literally was a 2 minute walk from Circular Quay. Close to many attractions, restaurants, and shops. We had to leave very early on our last morning to get to the airport and the breakfast lady packed up a lovely to-go bag for us that we ate while waiting for our flight. Every night there was a chocolate and cute sleep quote on our pillow which was a nice touch.

We peeked in other rooms that were unoccupied with the doors left open. Most appeared to have been redecorated and in slightly better condition than ours. Maybe our room is last on the list for a make-over? Yes, The Russell is in a good location, but for the price I think they could stand to fix the rooms up a bit more.
Suggestions: 1) renovate the old bathrooms and instruct the cleaning staff on how to keep the tile and grout clean. 2) wall mount the TV over the fireplace mantle to free up space on the table for the coffee service (more appealing than in the bottom of the wardrobe). 3) How about 4 towels instead of 2 so someone could wrap one around their head and dry off with the other.
4) paint the battered mouldings in the halls that are all banged up and chipped. 5) Provide ice.

Room Tip: Request a renovated room or better yet look at rooms in person if possible.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank pippin5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
managerrussell, Manager at The Russell Hotel, responded to this review, January 22, 2013
Thank you so much for your feedback. Yes indeed there are still about 4 rooms on our list for refurbishment and the room you stayed in reflects this.Please note that the price also normally reflects this. You can appreciate that in an old building like this we are constantly having to carry out maintaince work.Whilst we try to maintain the highest standard of cleanliness and maintenance I feel we had overlooked the bathroom you talk about. We have just finshed part of our peak season and now have a short window of opportunity to work on some areas of the hotel.As we speak our wonderful maintenance person (Jason) is regrouting and repainting the bathroom you referred to. In order to do this we have had to take 2 rooms out of service for 3 days ..something which is difficult to do in peak season.
We are very grateful for your feedback. We encourage our guests to advise us of their thoughts and preferences whilst they are staying with us so that we have the opportunity to improve their stay. Where possible if a guest isnt happy with their room we are happy to move them to another one if there is one available. We will always endevaour to make your stay as enjoyable as possible.
Cheers
Judy

Again, thanks you so much for your feedback.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol
Level Contributor
17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed December 23, 2012

This is an absolutely delightful boutique hotel in an amazing location minutes away from Circular Quay. It's an old building so some parts of it look a little worn but it has the individual style that hotels used to have decades ago along with the usual modern conveniences (kettle, welcome tray etc). We had to share a bathroom with the room next door - not a problem in any way - which, while not of the most modern, had everything you could need in the way of hot water, shower, bath etc. The electrics were a little alarming: a scarcity of functional sockets meant a lot of trailing wires but this was a very minor problem. Everything was perfectly clean, high-quality chocolates appeared at bedtime, and the staff, exclusively charming women while we were there, could not have been more helpful. Breakfast downstairs in the bar was of the help-yourself variety and certainly of the more generous type: lots of fruit, an almost endless supply of warm croissants, cereal and a do-it-yourself toaster very much in keeping with the general style of the hotel. Excellent value for money in the heart of a fairly expensive city.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Christopher K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston
Level Contributor
44 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed December 23, 2012

The Russel Hotel in the Rocks Section has one of the best locations in town. Close to the traffic hub Circular Bay and walking distance to the Sydney Opera House, across the street from the Museum of Contemporary Art and of course all the resataurants and shops of the Rocks. Comfortable bed, clean rooms and friendly staff add to a pleasant stay. Our room didn't have AC, so it could have potentially a negative impact if you are staying during a heatwave - maderate temperatures during our stay!
Wish they would do something with the roof terrace - it potentially could be an extremely nice place.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Reinhold M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wollongong, Australia
Level Contributor
66 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed December 13, 2012

Lovely 2 bed room on 2nd floor. Very comfortable but no fridge for cold water or drinks. On visiting this hotel some weeks before my visit I was shown a room with a fridge so I expected one. Enjoyed the breakfast in downstairs winebar. Was rather noisy at night due to the winebar underneath and the oldest hotel in Sydney a couple of shops away. Had to close the windows and leave fans on but the noise could still be heard.
On the brighter side in a great position right in the Rocks area and close to Quay, Opera House & Harbour Bridge. On dusk my Canadian visitor enjoyed watching our Icons light up and we even saw fireworks. Just to sit by the Quay watching all the boats coming and going and the huge ship "Radiance of the Sea" in port.
A jug for filling the kettle would have been useful - hard to manouver in bathroom sink.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank joydeM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Russell Hotel

Property: The Russell Hotel
Address: The Russell Hotel 143A George St | The Rocks, Sydney, New South Wales 2000, Australia
Phone Number:
Location: Australia > New South Wales > Sydney > The Rocks
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
#41 Romantic Hotel in Sydney
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Russell Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Russell Hotel with just 29 delightfully different rooms is perfectly located for the Sydney visitor seeking a convenient and characterful base from which to explore this exciting city.Sydney is literally on your doorstep at the Russell with Circular Quay, Sydney Harbour and the Museum of Contemporary Art just across the road.The Russell Hotel is a gorgeous bed and breakfast hotel known for its superb location and charm.No two guest rooms are identical at The Russell. The Russell offers a variety of ensuite rooms and very affordable rooms with shared bathroom. The largest rooms overlook George Street whilst guests in search of tranquillity might prefer one of the courtyard rooms or one above Nurses Walk. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Russell Hotel Sydney
Russell Hotel Sydney
Russell Sydney

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